Sanctuary Humans

Suzanne Gildert Sanctuary

Dr. Suzanne Gildert

Prior to Sanctuary, Suzanne founded Kindred, an artificial intelligence and robotics company. She grew the company to over 50 employees and opened offices in Vancouver, Toronto, and San Mateo. She helped raise over $50M in venture funding for Kindred from top tier investors including Eclipse, Google Ventures, First Round Capital and Data Collective. Suzanne also worked in the machine learning group at D-Wave, a Canadian company pioneering quantum computing technology. 

Suzanne is also a published digital artist and poet, has worked as a graphic designer, and pioneered a technique for creating art and games using a quantum computer. She loves painting and mixed media.

Olivia Norton Sanctuary

Olivia Norton

Olivia is an engineer and maker of minds at Sanctuary.

Prior to founding Sanctuary, Olivia was the lead engineer for the Artificial General Intelligence group at Kindred.

Olivia's professional experience includes software consulting in the oil and gas industry, as well as research and development work in the field of biomedical imaging at the Institute for Bio-mechanics at ETH Zurich.

In her spare time Olivia runs marathons, tends her garden, and binges on sci-fi/fantasy novels. She is a sommelier in training and a certified yoga teacher.

Geordie Rose Sanctuary

Dr. Geordie Rose

Geordie founded D-Wave, the world’s first quantum computing company, and Kindred, the world’s first robotics company to use reinforcement learning in a production environment. He has sold quantum computers and robots that learn to Google, NASA, Lockheed Martin, The Gap, and several US government agencies. He is a two-time Canadian national wrestling champion, was the 2010 NAGA world champion in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu in both gi and no-gi categories, was named the 2011 Canadian Innovator of the Year, was one of Foreign Policy Magazine’s 100 Leading Global Thinkers of 2013, and for a short time held the Guinness Book of World Records world record for the most yogurt eaten in one minute.



Ajay is an economist and is developing an approach for introducing synths into the labor market.  He is coauthor of the best-selling book "Prediction Machines: The Simple Economics of Artificial Intelligence" and co-organizer of the National Bureau of Economic Research's "Economics of AI" as well as the Creative Destruction Lab's "Machine Learning and the Market for Intelligence" annual conferences.

He is founder of the Creative Destruction Lab and cofounder of Next AI, both programs focused on transforming AI projects into scalable businesses. He cofounded Kindred.

In 2017, The Globe & Mail listed Ajay as one of the 50 Most Powerful People in Canadian Business.

Paula Gil Sanctuary

Paula Gil

Paula oversees the operations, planning, and execution of Sanctuary's Artificial General Intelligence (AGI) strategy. 

Before joining Sanctuary, Paula was the VP, Special Projects at Kindred. Previous to that Paula was the VP, Program Management at D-Wave, where she helped lead the release of two generations of the D-Wave quantum computing system. Prior to her work at D-Wave, she spent 12 years in the game industry working for Electronic Arts and Disney. 

Paula is a professional psychic medium, loves the rugged outdoors, enjoys reading, watching reality tv, and walking her two boxers.

Matt McMullen Sanctuary

Matt McMullen

Matt moved to California after High School, where he studied art and played in a metal band. He discovered sculpting was his medium of choice and began studying human anatomy.

After getting a job creating Halloween masks and props in the early 90s he started designing what would later become the RealDoll, although his initial concepts were not anatomically correct.

Fifteen years later he became focused on integrating robotics with his silicone figures and founded a second company called Realbotix. These efforts attracted heavy media attention as well as the interest of the founders of Sanctuary, which lead to a partnership and a powerful shared vision.


Holly Peck

Holly first contemplated humanness whilst excavating Neanderthal bones in France. Since, her creative and engineering projects have explored human and machine learning, robotics and embodiment, and memory and ritual. At Sanctuary, Holly builds and tests the software minds of Sanctuary robots. 

Holly is the founder and director of Women Who Code Vancouver, a community she grew from zero to 2000 techlords in two years. She is a Microsoft MVP in AI and has consulted PM Trudeau on innovation in Vancouver. In 2018, she released her first electronic album called ‘Nobody’ as part of her synth-pop project NUIT. At night, she programs polyphonic synthesizers and reads grimoires.

Holly has a BA from Princeton University. She has a fondness for breakfast, architectures, and black latex.


Connor Shannon

Connor grew up in rural Alberta, reading science fiction and dreaming of the future.

Coming from UBC’s Engineering Physics program, he has a broad skill set including software, electronics, and mechanical design - however he specializes in mechatronics design and creative problem solving.

At UBC he founded a student robotics team and designed multiple innovative robotics projects including a miniature robotic humanoid with Jonathan Moore for his capstone.

Before Sanctuary, Connor spent time at Tesla, General Fusion, and as a co-founder & CTO of a home robotics startup. He enjoys cycling, hiking, reading and electronic music, but is obsessed with building robots.

Jon Moore Sanctuary

Jon Moore

Prior to Sanctuary, Jon designed robotic cats for Nascent Robotics, a startup he founded in his last year at UBC. He also developed a software stack used to teleoperate a miniature humanoid robot, coincidentally named “ROSEBOT” - a tribute to the use of ROS to educate members of Open Robotics, a student team he founded with his colleague, Connor. Jon also played Lacrosse competitively for UBC and served in the CAF for several years.

At Sanctuary, Jon develops the software used to operate synthetic beings. His core directive is to pioneer technologies that only exist in science fiction.

Jon enjoys expanding his mind with new books, keeping fit through high intensity training, and rewatching old Claymore episodes.



James is a former venture capitalist specializing in breakthrough hardware technologies and corporate innovation. He has personally and professionally invested in 15 early-stage ventures, co-created 3 companies with founding investments, served on numerous boards and worked with dozens of corporate innovation and venture teams globally.  

James is a graduate of the Boulder Outdoor Survival School (BOSS), an aspiring stand-up comedian, and completed an N of 1 experiment in mindfulness by completing an IRONMAN by training with yoga. 

Jono Chapple Sanctuary

Jon Chapple

Jon has always been drawn to computers and programming. He is an astute learner with a broad range of software skills including full-stack web development, embedded systems, system architecture, and ROS. During his time in UBC Engineering Physics he developed a holistic view of engineering which he applies to his work in robotics and AI. Before Sanctuary Jonathan spent a year working in the Japanese tech sector and also as co-founder & software lead of a home robotics startup. Currently he seeks more interesting programming challenges that require him to experiment and defy convention.

His hobbies include playing RPGs, watching anime, and cooking. He aspires to work from a lab residing on the second floor of a shop in Akihabara.

Hatef Khadivi Sanctuary

Dr. Hatef Khadivi

Hatef is a generalist at heart, he has wide variety of skills ranging from mechanical design to electronics to software and AI, but he focuses on real-time and AI based controls.

Hatef finished his Masters degree in Mechanical Engineering from UoB in Birmingham, UK and his PhD in Materials Engineering from UBC in Vancouver, Canada, where he chose to call home.

Whenever he is not working on cutting edge robotic projects you can find him climbing mountains or deadlifting at the gym.



Seasonal reindeer and office doggo.